Oil Through the Ages

Essay by Z1mmermanCollege, UndergraduateB+, April 2013

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Oil Through the Ages

Who would have thought that a black gooey liquid would change how the entire world would function forever? I am sure not many before the greatest discovery was made over four thousand years ago. In Babylon, large walls were put together using asphalt. In order to make the asphalt, they used oil from pits in a nearby town. This is the first known discovery of oil and its first use as well. After many years, humans found out that most of the oil was underneath them and that they had to drill down in order to receive it. Back in 347 A.D., oil wells were drilled in China up to 800 feet deep using only bits attached to bamboo poles. The oil was burned to evaporate brine and produce salt. "By the 10th century, extensive bamboo pipelines connected oil wells with salt springs. The ancient records of China and Japan are said to contain many allusions to the use of natural gas for lighting and heating.

Petroleum was known as burning water in Japan in the 7th century" (Riva and Atwater). These pipelines helped them bring in oil quicker and to find more and more oil wells in the surrounding areas.

Marco Polo is highly known for his very extravagant travels and discovering how other cultures was different from each other. This is a description of his visit to Baku and how they brought in their oil:

When Marco Polo in 1264 visited the Persian city of Baku, on the shores of the Caspian Sea in modern Azerbaijan, he saw oil being collected from seeps. He wrote that "on the confines toward Geirgine there is a fountain from which oil springs in great abundance, inasmuch as a hundred shiploads might be taken from it at one...